A LITTLE RATTLED

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Do you ever get ‘a little rattled?’ This has been my theme song for the past few weeks. Here I am retired and realize I did a lot better when my mind was full of stuff. My writings have fallen way behind and as I try to catch up everything comes out scrambled.

What I know, is we are getting some much-needed rain. Of course, the sun has to hide for all of this to happen, but our grass, trees need the rain and it also helps wash away the pollen. I sent out a small note to friends in the flood and tornado areas. Heard back from most of them. Small increases in rivers, soggy, but safe.

We have lots of vegetables around our area and you cannot beat the home-grown flavors. I love to go to a farmer’s market and listen to all the different conversations. No, I do not know what all is being said, but they are so proud to show you their products. I ask a lot of questions about what it is, how to cook their products and eyes sparkle. Usually, there is someone close by who can translate for both of us.

Our swimming pool opened up just in time for all the rain. We have to wait until we get certified by the city to open up and everyone is holding their breath as Memorial Day Weekend is close by and this is our start of the summer.

A few days ago, after a quick rain shower, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful rainbow stretched across the sky. It looked like it went on for miles and miles and I wondered about the ‘pot of gold’ at the end.  So, I took a short walk and noticed the rainbow had no beginning and no ending. It just appeared and when the sun came out, the colors were brilliant. It was like the pot of gold was close, but untouchable. Clouds started to return and I did not have time to search further, but one can always dream about their ‘pot of gold.’ Now, it is your turn…”What would you do with a huge pot of gold?”

 Please take a few moments, think, and let me know your thoughts on this question. There is no right or wrong answer, and I’ll plug them in my next blog or two. No names will be attached, but it would make A WONDERFUL BLOG.  This way you would get to give your answers, read other answers, and then we can take it from there and start a new blog with your questions and answers. SO….keep this going as we continue forward.

I love to touch base with all of you, as your input is important to me.  And, I am looking forward to all of your answers to OUR blog, Chasing the Rainbow, for the next few weeks.

Stay close and help me and other readers to share their ‘Pot of Gold’ dreams.

 

Patriciachats

 

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WHERE’S SPRING?

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I looked all over for a special calendar and could not find SPRING, so this will have to do for now. As I sit at my desk, I can look out my windows and see nothing but grey clouds, trees waving their branches, and the only sign of spring is the green leaves and green grass. I want to see sunshine, hear birds singing, see and smell flowers in bloom, and know that May Day is just around the corner. Spring seems to get lost between the long winter months and the hot summer months.

Do you remember your ‘Spring Times’? As a child, I remember the opportunity to stay and play outside a little later, watch the flowers peek through the dirt, see squirrels scamper up and down tree trunks, chasing each other and having a good time. And now that we are so close to May, do you remember the May Days? We’d walk up to a friend’s house and hide our May Basket for that special person and run away before anyone saw us.

Guess, Spring Time brings back wonderful memories and yet gives us space to make new memories. Each season gives new hope and ideas to think about and try.

A couple of weeks ago, the Library in my neighborhood, held its first Poetry Reading Night. Great attendance and wonderful poems. I was impressed by all the presenters and their ability to share without any props, like a book, and their words gave music to our ears.

Yeah, I got up, but had to have my poetry book in my hands, my glasses on, and no dancing around. But, it was fun and they plan to do this every so often. Maybe I can get my act together and do this without my book. Doubt it, but hey who knows. So to end this post, I would like to share  MOODS OF MUSIC,

Music opens the windows of the soul creating many moods. Strings of violins being gently caressed sing of intimacy, soft flickering candle light. Rumble of the drums gives a dominating beat to life – slow measured steps or a fast-moving pace. A slide trombone can bring a feeling of melancholy, a sway to the music, a backward trip in memories. Reeds of the clarinet performing jazzy blues mixing the past and present together. Cymbals clashing awakens opportunities yet to be explored.  Moods of music, complacent, invigorating, dreamy. . . Open your soul and listen.

Happy Spring.  Happy Writing.

Patricia

Little Bowl-Big Bowl-Super Bowl

Say Hi to my great grandson, Emery. He loves to pose for pics and this was taken a couple years ago at a Thanksgiving in the North Carolina Mountains. Didn’t even have to ask twice…once and this is what my camera showed. His arms are up into a football touchdown, but I did not get it all together. Hey, I tried.

Here we are ready for Super Bowl 2017 in Houston, TX. Know matter where we are from, our age, or sex, the TV set will have a lot of eyes watching the screen.Some of you may have had the opportunity to see this Super Bowl in person and what a great experience. We all want OUR team to win, but what I want most of all is a fair game, neat umpires, and a safe ending to the fourth quarter.

All of this suggests, Spring is on the way, and what a funny winter pattern we have had. AT lease, here in Atlanta, we’ve encountered spring, a little of summer, wet weather, tornadoes, and pot holes!  With all the cold, icy roads, and then heat, the pavement is an obstacle course.

I am still in the process of retirement. Some days leave me with so much time and other days night gets here before I want it. Still, attending classes for Yoga and Pilates and love both. Instructors are great and members friendly. Meet with my friend Kevin every couple of weeks for our writing sessions. Getting comments, suggestions, thoughts from a male writer has given me more to revise and think about. Did have a female writer/editor give me a few suggestions on revising parts of a novel. She has had a few novels published and has made some great finds.

Know I shouldn’t push forward, but Spring sounds so great. We are having a lot more farmer markets spring up in different parts of town. Look forward to seeing what all they bring to their tables.

I’m walking more and enjoying every minute. Still careful which direction I go, but meet a lot of walkers. I’d love to get a walking group together and see how we can work through everyone’s different ideas. I tend to walk and look at the world through a writer’s eye. Thoughts for a new story or to clarify something that has been bothering me. Others, see a walk as a way to communicate with the people they walk with, talking and stopping, and questioning everything. Something to think on. Any suggestions or ideas?

I want to thank all of you for your comments on previous posts and I have followed a lot of your writings. Please continue to follow me, add comments, and I am always open for suggestions.

Also, you may have some new ideas on books you have read. I made a note of a new author, Ruth Ware, and finally got a copy of her book, “In A Dark Wood.” Quite a thriller, and she also has a book out “The Woman in Cabin 10.” I think it is a great idea to promote new women writers and even the older women writers. Not meaning by age, but how long their work has been on the shelves.

May each of you enjoy the month of February and have a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  See you next month or maybe even the end of February.

Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy you.

 

Patricia

 

 

WHAT MAKES YOU WRITE?

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A not so simple question. One that does not fit every writer. Some writers get up and can’t wait to hit the computer keys. Their minds overflowing with thoughts or dreams from the night. Some don’t wait for the computer, but find themselves scribbling down bits and pieces from a pad beside the bed. Others carry a notebook or use the napkin at the restaurant. Compulsive? Nope. These are writers who know writing is in their heart, head, and are helpless to do anything but write.
Others, write, but only when the mood strikes them. A television show pulls them away from writing. They want to write, but become bored with the same characters day after day. If they decided to write something different, they feel guilty leaving their characters hanging in a scene. Or, they have so many stories started and cannot finish one. Still they want to write, more out of habit than from their heart.
How can we get back to the conscious desire to connect to our writing? I asked some of my writer friends to help me out with this blog. No, I will not use names, as a matter of privacy, but I did get some great suggestions.
1. When was the last time you really enjoyed writing? Take yourself on a backward journey. Do you remember what you were writing: poetry, short story, novel, or an article? Were you writing with a pen, pencil, on notebook paper, in a small journal, or on the computer? Can you picture yourself and feel the joy? Then go back to whatever method of writing you were doing and start this same practice today. Not tomorrow. Today, when this is fresh on your mind.
2. Stop trying to write. Yes, we are told if you are a writer, you must write every day. Do not believe everything you hear. What will happen if you miss a day or a few days? Nothing. Your characters stay the same until you change them. The setting won’t blow off the paper and the hero/heroine will still get their chance at love. In fact, you might have some new ideas.
3. Take yourself to a quiet spot. Leaves the kids at home, do NOT bring your cell; well, okay bring it for emergency uses but leave it off. Take a long walk and notice the different trees, flowers, paths and other walkers. Be observant of everything you see, hear, and feel. No, don’t write them down, keep them in your memory. Plant these images or feelings deep, and they will be there when you need them later.
4. Be gentle and remind yourself this is your ‘catch-up’ period. You can push yourself only to a point, and then the well runs dry. Take some deep breaths and relax. You need to revitalize your writing experiences. Your ideas will begin to flow again and the frustration or boredom will disappear. You will be energized to keep ‘going and going and going’.
See which of these fits you and your writing. Maybe all. Maybe none. But somewhere in your writing, you will come up against the dry spell. Hey, not to worry. Relax. Smile. Walk. Energize thoughts, and you will not be able to find a pen, paper, notebook, or computer fast enough.

HAPPY WRITING TO ALL

P.S.I’d love to hear your ideas, too.

WRITING – POETRY – ART?

Book CaseDo not holler yet, please? But, do think about how poetry can assist you in some of your writing struggles. Enter the scenes in your head. No thanks, I write books – I am not a rhyming person – poetry is fluff – I write erotica – poetry is for old people who want to look backwards – poetry, I don’t think so.

There are more excuses about poetry, but before we stick our heads in the sand, we should examine why poetry can, could and does help our writing. How long ago did you pick up a book of poetry and read? Some of our best poets suffered from illnesses, sometimes not mentioned. Sylvia Plath, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Virginia Wolf, and William Shakespeare had addictions, depressions, mental issues and their works of poetry show their true feelings and desperation. One poem I love was written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Her words came from a time , not yet established in her life, she wrote for the future. One particular poem, Solitude begins, “Laugh and the word laughs with you. Weep and you weep alonge.” This is a wide read poem, even today.

Look at some of your favorite poets and read their works. Picture yourself searching for words to fit your expressions. Do not we, as writers, do the same for our works. Of course, and sometimes we use the first word we can conjure. If you are having a bad day at writing, what is one of the things you can do? Return to one of your favorite quotes, or something posted at your computer or on the wall. Reading will help your vision get back on track.

Wanting to write and giving yourself permission to do this are the same for every writer, and the genre does not matter. Remember, there is not bad writing only the first efforts and many revisions create good writing.

Here are a few actions to help yourself feel great about writing and sticking to it every day:

*  Do not judge anything you write as great or a failure

*  Keep Writing

*  Don’t whine about time or energy needed to write. Just write, write, and write.

*  Keep telling yourself you are a writer.

*  Learn more about the craft.

*  Keep paper and pen with you at all times.

*  Jot down sayings you see on cars. What about road signs? They always have mishaps.

*  What about a song on the radio? The music, the beat, the sadness might fit into your next stanza or paragraph.

Another area writers might look into is art. How long has it been since you went to an art gallery or a photography exhibit? The next time you see one advertised, go, study the artists view or the photographer’s camera angle.

Sometimes the blank page is huge and we need to create words and phrases, the same and we need to create words and phrases, just as a paint brush needs to create color, and the camera different angles or the poet a feeling to draw the reader into the depths of a soul.

You are a writer and you must make the choice to write every day. No matter the genre, you write and write and write. The words flow on the pages you write and you watch your dream take shape.

You write because you are a writer.

Marketing The Old-Fashioned Way

Two friends

Here we are again. Things ( all sorts of things) happen with the wave of a hand now days. Everyone wants instant make-overs, tools that do the work for you, and no sweat.

We over heard Patricia talking about Marketing to a writer friend. No, let’s make a correction – we snooped and listened. She opened a folder with lists, lists, and more written lists of things to do to market you, your writing, and your book.  Seems like a lot of work for no “instant gratification.”

Do you know how old-fashioned marketing works? Take a trip back with us to small villages in Britain. Not yesterday, we’re talking back to the 16th century and chapbooks. Yes, people wrote stories and poems with flimsy paper and the feather ink pen. These were sewn together with a needle and a thick thread, right down the middle with an outside cover.

They were “hawked” on street corners and priced for workers and rural areas to afford. These were used for family reading or groups in alehouses. These first “books for sale” contributed to the development of literacy.

Then the early printers made their way into this chapbook industry. Sometimes, chapmen got them on credit, and carried them all over the countryside, selling door to door, and returned with pay for the printers.

Now, think about how you would market the old-fashioned way. Then, stop and be thankful you have all the lists, and lists, and more lists. Once Patricia reads our bit of information, we are certain there will be more up-dated lists on marketing. But, this was fun. We all need to step ‘outside our boxes’ once in a while. So, we’ll rest for a long time.

Happy Hawking.

A REWIRE ENCOUNTER

Book CaseAs I wrote  the previous post, the rewire in my brain kicked in. “Find it. Find it. Find it.” was all I could hear. What was IT? I did not keep my ‘bic,’ but got up and begin to pace around my living room, still full of papers for tax time. My mind and soul began a deliberate internal search. Why was this so important?

I could not get comfortable. A warm shower. Yeah, this is what I need. But the water did not dislodge any thoughts in my head. I crawled into bed and took the deep breaths in and exhaled in the same manner – deep. My mind produced a picture, but how can you look at something so out of focus.  After tossing and turning, my body craved sleep.

I woke up with a startled picture of IT. This became focused. I got out of bed and looked at the clock. We will not mention the time, but I had to search quietly so my neighbors could sleep. This was not their problem. Now, volumes of paper covered my bedroom floor and bed. It has to be here. I have to find it. Then my mind recoiled….no find them. Oops, I’m in big trouble. Even at this e-a-r-l-y  h-o-u-r, a fresh cup of coffee sounded great. A hot cup, of the black liquid, in my hands, I returned and there in the middle of my bed, they rested. Two poems I had written many years ago, were the start of the rewire of my brain.  May you enjoy and may these words jump-start your writing.

PAPER AND WORDS by Patricia E Patterson

Sterile white sheets of  paper, void, empty. My pen caresses the open space with long, black sensuous strokes. The affair starts.

The pen rushes to capture words out of control. Fast, jerky slants fill each line. Anger, bitterness, frustration – words stand tall and bold..

Without warning, timid, delicate strokes appear like an apology for a jealous outburst.Soft angles emerge to create gentle words on paper.

–The end–

I have found the second and will send it out to you in a few days.

May you enjoy and even try some poetry yourselves.

Sweet dreams.